Saturday, April 30, 2016

Concord High marching band befriends Bert and Ernie, meets Jimmy Fallon

Posted on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 28, 2013 at 6:07 p.m.

The Concord High School marching band now knows firsthand what it means to be in the city that never sleeps.

The group woke up early in New York City on Thursday, Nov. 28, to hold a 3:20 a.m. dress rehearsal in front of the Macy's at 151 W. 34th St. for the big Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. By the time the sun had come up, the members had practiced, eaten breakfast and traveled uptown to get into position next to the Sesame Street parade float.

By 10:22 a.m., the band had been broadcast on national television to 50 million viewers and had performed in front of 3.5 million parade goers.

As if all that weren't excitement enough, band director Scott Spradling said late night TV show host Jimmy Fallon greeted the kids, Bert and Ernie of "Sesame Street" asked to join the band, and they heard shouts of "We love Indiana!", "I'm from Nappanee!" and "Go Hoosiers!" among the millions of spectators lining the streets of the Big Apple.

The kids' phones exploded with calls and texts after their performance, Spradling said, and despite marching for 2.5 miles in cold weather, the band members were “ecstatic.”

“We went and then Matt Lauer announced us,” Spradling said. “It was really cool to hear the school's name said by him in that setting.”

After marching, they spent Thursday on a dinner cruise to see the Statue of Liberty. The group will tour the 9/11 memorial and the Museum of Natural History on Friday, then head back to Elkhart on Saturday.